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Welcome to 'The Forward Association' bus blog

Presenting a blog devoted to the Birmingham bus! An esoteric subject perhaps but not to thousands of people like me who grew up in the city. I am an ex-pat, living in London. I offer this as a forum for people like me who left, those who never left, and those who made it their home.

81 Comments to Welcome to 'The Forward Association' bus blog:

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Robin Hannay on 23 March 2011 18:26
May I start the comments with a corection to published information on thr Guy buses bought from 2526 onwards. These are NOT GUY ARAB Mk.IVs (it was developed from these)but were called Arab-B.C.T. by the manufacturer or more commonly Birminghams. They differ considerable from Mk.IVs respect of specification including the chassis frame.
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Derek Perry on 21 November 2011 12:02
I am always happy to hear from owners of preserved vehicles. Two of our models will be 'museum editions' which will only be sold at the full price so that we can raise money for the preservation movement. As far as yours in concerned, Robert, we have to produce new tools for a 27 footer! Our existing models are only scale 26 feet long.


Opportunity for low cost business on 13 March 2014 08:10
Really you had started with very good that these are NOT GUY ARAB Mk.IVs but were called Arab-B.C.T. by the manufacturer or more commonly Birminghams. Keep updating us like this.


Kyan Sussex-West on 27 February 2016 14:29
Hi, it was actually a really wonderful experience for me when I dropped by at your website. I hope you don't mind if I applaud you on the excellent quality of your work and to send you bon chance with it as you develop in the future. It was a hoot to browse your site and I will definitely be dropping by again before long to find how you are doing. Thanks and I shall see you here soon - Xander Sussex-West


Derek Perry on 06 April 2011 17:55
Robin is correct. They began life as Guy Arab mark IIIs but cannot really be called this either. Perhaps mark 3.5?? They are a good example of how a bus that was good enough for other operators did not quite reach Birmingham's high standards. The prospect of selling a few hundred to a large operator like BCT made more than one bus builder change their specs.
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tony on 21 April 2011 22:43
hi, my name is tony, like you i also collect btc buses, i have 37 buses at the moment, in birmingham lovery and hope to get more, regards tony.
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John Bird on 01 June 2011 21:08
Hi It was great meeting you at Wythall on Monday. Keep up the good work, and I am saving my Pennies for one of the tin fronts when you get them.
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Dave on 19 July 2011 17:22
GOOD LUCK ON YOUR UPCOMING ENDEAVOURS! THERE ARE TWO REALLY OLD ANTIQUES UP HERE WISHING YOU ALL THE BEST. CHEERS DAVE AND HELEN
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Peter on 29 July 2011 18:45
Good luck Derek, I too was born & bred but left,it was a great city but not so sure it is now,(Nostalgia ain't wot it used to be). I hope the blog takes off as it would be good to share memories.I keep trying to find the time to visit the 2 museums but have only ever returned to Brum on day's they were closed ! Will keep watching this site and would love to support your efforts but times are very hard right now.
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William Parker on 01 August 2011 22:55
I would like to offer you my best wishes with your newly announced models.
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graham thorpe on 18 August 2011 21:40
good luck with all you are setting out to do can't wait for the models and am saving to buy a bus bond. regards graham.
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Derek Perry on 12 September 2011 00:17
The Birmingham Bus Bond that Graham refers to is a scheme to get enthusiasts to invest in the models. See the website but for a returnable £100 bond, you get £10 off one of our buses. We are not a well-funded manufacturer - just an enthusiast who wants to fill a gap in his collection. The bond is very valuable to us.


graham thorpe on 07 September 2011 21:21
have you got a date when the models go on general release. regards graham.
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Derek Perry on 12 September 2011 00:14
I received the first model prototype of the Birmingham Standards this weeknd and it looks promising. However, the usual 'production delays' have pushed back our launch date. I must admit, it was optimistic to hope it would be ready by Showbus next weekend. Instead, I just hope it will arrive in time for Xmas.


John Balmforth on 28 October 2011 16:35
Spotted your advert in buses. So ironic my wife and kids heve just started asking me what I'd like for christmas. Well there's no contest now. The answer is one of each of the variants as and when they appear. They will take me back a lot of years (to many to say) to when I was 11 years old and spent part of my pocket money every Saturday morning on a BCT bus ride usually the 29A Pheasey to Baldwins Lane and back. My favourite seat was the nearside front seat 'inside'.
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Derek Perry on 21 November 2011 12:04
Thanks for the message, John. But I am afriad that 'production delays' mean there won't be any deliveries until March 2012. Can you wait for a late Christmas present?


Robert Hayles on 12 November 2011 14:35
Looking forward to a model of our groups non standard standard 2847 JOJ 847. Drawings and the real bus available for you Derek. Regards, Robert Hayles
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2989 on 26 April 2012 13:04
great to hear that 2847 is being restored. i know where it currently is. the owner(bob shaw) has made a hand biult model of it.


Terence Davis on 09 December 2011 10:35
Have only just found your website. Delighted to see that you are launching a range of Britain's finest. My childhood in Yardley Wood introduced me to the phenomenal operation that BCT was, which spoilt me for any other bus undertaking, including that "Red" one based in Bearwood. Don't mention WMPTE! Good luck in your venture.
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Terence Davis on 11 December 2011 15:24
Further to my earlier message, I would mention the fact that AEC was also among the suppliers to BCT, albeit that their postwar offerings were limited to the 15 GOE Regent 3s. And the solitary Bridgemaster (9 JML). You could, I suppose count the many Crossleys, as by then they were owned by AEC. I don't imagine the Birmingham RTs would ever justify a production model, but it is my aim to modify a London RT into a passable model of one. I plan to try in 1/50 scale first using a Solido RT as the start and maybe then move onto a 1/76 version. Looking forward to seeing and buying the various BCT "standards" that you're planning. P. S. Just a further thought; did anyone in Birmingham ever need a bus timetable. We never did, because they were so frequent (it seemed like one every 5 minutes or so!). You just went to the bus stop and within minutes one would arrive. P. P. S. Does anyone else ever remember their buses travelling along the Stratford Road and halting outside Jones's cafe (or maybe not even stopping fully) while the clippie jumped off and ran into the cafe returning within seconds with billy-cans of tea for the crew's elevenses?
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john howle on 23 April 2012 22:25
Ref,The the cafe stops l think l am wright in saying all Acocks Green crews made use of the can and two cups service and food aswell.


andy on 16 December 2011 14:14
Can someone tell me the route numbers and destinations that went through Handsworth in the 60s and 70s that passed the New Inns Public House top of Crocketts road (where i was born.
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graham thorpe on 13 January 2012 21:22
If I'm not mistaken the route no's were 72 bct which terminated at the hawthorns 74 bct in conjunction with wbct which was route b.ham to Dudley and 75 bct and wbct which was b.ham to wendsbury. on these services you had to pay twice b.ham to hawthorns and then hawthorns to either dudley or wendsbury,until everything changed to wmpte. Regards Graham


Lee Bayliss on 26 April 2014 07:57
I also thoght there was 73 to Carters Green. All these services terminated in Birmingham at Snow Hill Station.


Bob Haisman on 27 January 2012 01:41
I was a Harborne based conductor on the outer circle 11 in the early 60s and eagerly await the delivery of an exposed radiator model for obviously nostalgic reasons.Hard work but good times. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards Bob.
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graham thorpe on 15 February 2012 22:01
Hi Derek is there a release date been fixed for the models can't wait patience is not a virtue of mine. Regards Graham.
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andy jones on 01 March 2012 13:05
trying to find out which buses ran along the A41 soho rd/ holyhead rd handsworth in the 70s. i was born in handsworth and remember going to watch the buses on a saturday afternoon with my Grandad. I remember the old Guy arabs etc with much fondness and would ideally like to alter the destination of one of Dereks great models to reflect this route. Does anyone remember the special liveries some had especially the Tartan bus.
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graham thorpe on 05 March 2012 21:10
Hi Andy please refer to my reply jan 13th 2012 Regards Graham.


Jeff Egan on 02 April 2012 20:36
When I went to BCT head office in Congreve Street, for an interview to be an trainee fitter, (I got posted to Miller street), There was as I recall,large models of buses and trams mounted in glass cases. I wonder what happened to them ?????
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Peter Lawrie on 06 April 2012 14:50
The model of 1647 GOE 647 is shown with 15A on the destination blind which would make it a Liverpool Street bus,when I think it spent nearly all of its life at Washwood Heath mainly running on the 55 and 56 routes.Anyway all the best with what you are doing.
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John Howle on 23 April 2012 22:38
1646-1655 all went to liverpool Street from new not washward heath.


Off Lease Cars For Sale on 22 April 2012 16:50
Since, childhood my association with the word "transportation" is the Birmingham bus, not cars or anything. I can't imagine this place without the Birmingham bus!
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Tony Morgan on 24 April 2012 23:16
I too have so enjoyed the memories spurred by your website which I discovered through having ordered one of your forthcoming models with Yardley Wood Bus Club. My time as conductor and driver started at Harborne Garage in 1965 where we had the benefit of tea etc from Rosies Cafe at California and the Social Club tea van in Colmore Row on late nights. I have now retired north of the border with my happy memories of BCT.
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Terry Davis on 27 April 2012 18:38
Good to see the pre-production examples now gracing your pages. they look as if they're worth the wait.
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graham on 07 May 2012 13:12
Love the pre production models will definately be ordering both models when released can't wait. Had a great day at the aldridge open day what a great array of vehicles on display wish them all the best at the museum. Graham. thorpe
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Derek Perry on 29 June 2012 13:17
Thanks to Graham (and others) for your ongoing interest. The models are overdue (surprise!). I am new to this business but I am fed up that this process has been going on for 18 months when I expected the first deliveries within a year. I still hope the first will be available at our launch party at the end of July.


John Merrick on 29 May 2012 11:05
Can anyone throw more light on the six Guy Arabs, 2995-3000, which operated from Washwood Heath and had clutch (crash?) gearboxes? I remember the big warning notice in the driver's cab well, as also the amazing sound the transmission made!
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John Merrick on 26 June 2012 09:29
Does anybody know what's happened to Malcolm Keeley's new book "Birmingham Buses Route by Route 1925-1975"? It was due out in May, but Amazon still can't get hold of it.
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Derek Perry on 29 June 2012 13:11
I am waiting for this book myself - and I am getting the same delays from Amazon. I will try to talk to the author...


Trevor Morgan on 09 September 2012 15:36
Malcolm Keeley's book is available now and is very informative with excellent pictures of standards as well as other types. Looking forward to getting my models! I ordered 3 last November and know the long wait will be worthwhile


lewisham toys and models on 28 July 2012 15:45
we have malcolm keeleys excellent new book in stock.price £24-95 includes free postage regards colin
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Terence Davis on 01 August 2012 09:05
Looking forward to getting my hands on a Guy and a Crossley when they are finally released. "A pleasure deferred is a pleasure enhanced!" Hope I'm not jumping too far ahead, but I couldn't help wondering whether the existing tooling could be used for further variants on the "Birmingham Standard" theme? Specifically:- 1 Would the tin front Guy also make a tin front Daimler or Crossley? 2 Would the exposed rad Crossley's body be the same as that of an exposed rad Daimler CVD6? (I am aware the CVG6 Daimler had a different bonnet length) 3 Is the Brush body of the HOV Leyland Titan sufficiently close to that of the Crossley for that tooling to be adapted (incorporating the split u/saloon rear window)? I realise I may be venturing into areas where the major issue on some of these model variants is that the body length is 27 ft rather than 26, but it would be good to know Derek's thoughts on the matter!
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Derek Perry on 11 September 2012 08:27
In reply to Terry's comments I would like to announce that the wait is nearly over! The models are in production in China but coming by ship means they will not arrive until October. However, I will have a few for Showbus on 16 September. As for variations on a theme, the only way I could afford to make the castings is because the body will represent several different models. The problem is that there is no such thing as a 'standard' and each one has its differences. Purists may complain but it cannot be helped. So, there will be Crossley and Daimler 'tin fronts' once I have worked out a way to file off the knob which represents the Indian head on the Guys! Also, the exposed radiator version will be getting a Daimler CVD6 radiator. This version also went to Edinburgh and Newcastle so it will appear in other liveries too. I won't be doing the Leyland because of the split upper deck rear screen. At first I did not want to do MOF and later JOJ registrations because these are 27 footers and mine is only 26 feet long. However, with a difference of only 4mm in the model, I think I can be forgiven for doing some later models. So, my next batch will be a selection of MOFs in both BCT and WMPTE liveries. This will be followed by a selection of CVD6s in different colours.


robert townsend on 19 September 2012 21:14
well done to you derek all the very best in your venture i admire you
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Doug C on 25 September 2012 11:49
I have ordered two of the new buses. Looking at the photos, it appears that the stairs turn onto the rear platform. From childhood memories, Birmingham buses (except for two small batches) had straight staircases that did not encroach onto the platform.
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Andy on 02 October 2012 19:33
I have a full set of the buses and they are AWESOME. Many thanks and congratulations to Derek and his team (ie Mrs Perry)
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Budgie on 15 October 2012 17:52
Just a thought on the number 11 route one was numberd 11c to indicate the bus was going clockwise around the city and the 11a went anticlockwise so you could catch the bus anywere and no witch way was the quickest way to your destination.Also people would catch the 11 on Noveber the 5th with their children and travel all around the city watching diffrent firework displays it was cheaper than buying lots of fireworks especialy in the early 50s when times were still hard.
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Geoff Kelland on 29 January 2013 14:38
The A/C suffix letters used to denote direction of travel on Circle services were introduced by WMPTE on 3rd August 1975.


Nick on 01 November 2012 18:38
Delighted with my models that I preordered but was able to pick up at Showbus. Derek deserves all our support for his endeavour. As a collector I look forward to the transfers and the 2013 models. I'm sure it wasn't my comment to Derek at Showbus but delighted to see EDC-15 for Coventry - not identical body but close enough to make me ready to buy.
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Christopher Nash on 21 November 2012 17:44
Derek, Having ordered my Standard at the beginning of 2012, I'd like to know when I'll receive it. We were told October. It's now nearly the end of November and I'm still waiting and becoming a little unhappy about this situation. I'd be grateful if you could provide an update, promptly, please.
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Christopher nash on 25 November 2012 16:19
Derek, I'm disappointed to note that you haven't found the time to reply to my message of 21 November. Given the time that has elapsed since I placed my order I'm surprised at the poor level of customer service in this regard. Hopefully, you'll be able to find the inclination to reply to me, in the near future. Failing that, why not update your website to show a delivery schedule. I'm sure I'm not the only customer who would welcome such an update.
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John Balmforth on 19 January 2013 14:28
I din't know Derek Parry but I will defend him here. I have sent him a number of emails and always received reply


Stephen Bidey on 28 November 2012 12:51
I wwould also agree with Christopher's sentiments above, having had 2 models on order since August 2011 (when they were first announced). Some indication as to when the models are being despatched to customers would be particularly reassuring.
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Stephen Bidey on 06 December 2012 10:21
Models safely received in yesterday's post. Well worth the wait! Now looking forward to future releases.
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Roger embery on 10 December 2012 15:59
Replacement model received thank you will be checking your website for next releases
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Adrian on 11 December 2012 15:14
Hi, got route 11 (EC-05) and love it, was wondering is there plans afoot for a Daimler Fleetline as in the ones withdrawn in 1999 as a future model?
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Peter Turner on 20 December 2012 15:56
Long awaited models arrived on 19th Dec. Quality is impressive. Keep up the good work.
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Glen on 24 December 2012 16:27
Just took delivery of my Guy Arab 2533 on route 1, it had to be part of my bus collection, as the no.1 passed right outside the now-demolished Sorrento Hospital in Moseley where I was born. It would be great if a bus with Route 50 details, or others that served Moseley during the mid-1960s, could also be added to the range in future.
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alan on 29 December 2012 05:42
Got my Buz!!!!!#9 Quinton.Bostin'. How about MOF 89 with the "offside illuminated advert" on the #10 Quinton Road West route?
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dave prince on 01 January 2013 19:01
I think you'll find that 11A & 11C are products of WMPTE
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Steve Bidey on 23 January 2013 13:39
Very pleased with the current releases, and have added extra detailing to the platform area - handrail on platform window, BCT blue paint on staircase, matt black platform etc. Now very much looking forward to this year's releases, particularly the exposed radiator BCT Daimler. I'm sure it has already been noted, but the Daimler radiator should be narrower and taller than that of the Crossley. I guess that both CVG and CVD models can be produced, as the only difference would be the fleet/registration numbers. Keep up the good work!
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Terence Davis on 04 February 2013 13:02
Delighted to say that I received my first 2 models last week, followed closely by the remaining 3 this morning. Absolutely delighted with them, as they top off my collection of vehicles beautifully. Thanks a million to Derek and his team. These won't be the last ones I order! Terry Davis
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dave on 19 February 2013 22:04
Paid for model (EC04) on 3/2/13, your terms & conditions say 10 days to despatch. Now 19th. No model or communication to say how long or what is going on. Not amused.
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john wassell on 27 February 2013 16:29
Mem No 1-023 Congratulations on the excellent models I note you are to produce MOF 38 In your newsletter it is stated to be route 16 to walsall ,in"Buses" mag it is quoted as route 15. Unless this bus operated in Walsall as some ex BCT buses did and was on their route 15/16 this is incorrect .It is route 51 to walsall from Birmingham Very best wishes looking forward to the exposed rad Daimlers
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custom essays on 07 March 2013 10:44
All you are setting out to do can't wait for the models and am saving to buy a bus bond. regards graham.
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Mike Lane on 25 March 2013 21:13
Having received my first Forward BCT bus in 2012 - Crossley GOE 647, I was delighted with the quality and prefer it to others (EFE & Corgi)in my collection. I lived in Birmingham for approximately 10 years (1950-1960) and regularly used services 3,9,10,11 and when I started my first job at The New Inns, Handsworth in 1958, services 71 & 72. Living in Harborne on the 10 route, this was the one I used mostly. Most of that service's buses were from Quinton garage but occasional 'service extra'. turns came from Harborne. Is it possible that a future model, say a Daimler CVG6 or Guy Arab IV could carry route 10 Quinton Rd West? Thanks again for producing superb models
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Rent a bus in Washington DC on 15 April 2013 10:37
I was a Harborne based conductor on the outer circle 11 in the early 60s and eagerly await the delivery of an exposed radiator model for obviously nostalgic reasons.Hard work but good times. Hope to hear from you soon. Regards Bob.
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Terry Davis on 09 May 2013 08:58
Derek Thanks for the 2 most recent models which arrived safely. Very pleased with the quality and am particularly happy with the Daimler on route 24, Warstock. As I grew up in Yardley Wood, this was a most familiar sight for me. Look forward to further models as and when. P.S. What are all these joke irrelevant postings all about; who sends them and why?
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Gerry Marsden on 15 June 2013 17:00
Is it me or are the last few 'blogs' for real? Up until them I was enjoying the comments. In an attempt to restore 'normality', I would like to thank Derek on his continuing endeavour to provide us older 'Brummies' with something to remind us of our childhood and or youth. I have bought four models to date and have spoken to Derek on a couple of occasions re the feasibility of producing a 'single deck' model i.e. the Leyland Tigers (is that right?)that were used on the 27 route from West Heath through Northfield to Kings Heath. Also at the risk of upsetting the BCT 'purists', I also would like to see a model of the Midland Red single decker S12/S14 type. There are plenty of BMMO coaches on the market and also a very good model of the Double Decker D9 but no S12,S13/S14's. Is there a commercial demand for these 'iconic' single decker's?
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Al Russ on 21 March 2014 23:54
Now have 8 of these and 4 more on order. As a model bus collector, normally Southern types only!!, I am delighted with these and also like the fact some of the revenue is going back into bus preservation. Excellent job to all concerned and especially Derek.
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Nigel Edwards on 28 January 2015 16:36
I did spot (on eBay) a Birmingham standard GUY with 29a destination. Try as I amy I can't find one now, are they discontinued.
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